“From a friend at Intel: DNI needs to task the NSA to immediately seize and begin searching international communications related to Dominion,” Perry wrote to Meadows on November 12, just five days after the election for Joe Biden was called. .

In the previously unreported text, Perry appears to be urging Meadows to get John Ratcliffe, the then Director of National Intelligence, to order the National Security Agency to investigate discredited claims that Dominion’s voting machines They were pirated by China.

Perry, a five-term congressman, is a retired brigadier general with nearly 40 years of military service, including air combat missions in Iraq. Given his extensive experience, it is likely that he is familiar with the inner workings of government intelligence.

So far, Perry has refused to voluntarily cooperate with the House select committee and, in a previous statement, called the committee illegitimate. Perry did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

It’s unclear if Meadows responded to Perry’s Nov. 12 text message. A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Meadows did not approach Ratcliffe about what Perry was asking about.

Last year, the The Senate singled out Perry for his role in promoting Trump’s voter fraud conspiracies. Meadows’ texts provide new details about her efforts behind the scenes. In particular, the texts show how Perry, now head of the House Freedom Caucus, was one of the most vocal advocates of enlisting top government officials to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud.

Perry wrote to Meadows again on November 12 claiming that “the British” orchestrated a conspiracy to tamper with voting machines in the US and that then-CIA Director Gina Haspel was helping to cover it up.

“And Gina is still running down the hill covering for the Brits who helped the Field Marshal through this whole operation,” Perry wrote in a text message. “DNI should be tasked with auditing its offshore accounts at the CIA, and its National Endowment for Democracy.”

More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows with a YouTube link detailing another conspiracy theory: that the votes were changed by Italian satellites.

“Why can’t we just work with the Italian government?” Perry wrote. Based on text records, Meadows does not appear to have responded to that message; emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year show that he sent the same video link to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen hours later.

Rosen later declined to further investigate the claim, saying he “would not give Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses’ any special treatment,” an email discussion between the acting attorney general and top officials shows. of the Department of Justice.

“Sheer madness,” another former Justice Department official, Richard Donoghue, responded to Rosen about the claim.

New court filing

A new court filing also reveals how Perry played a key role in strategizing with Trump allies about shedding electoral votes in states Trump lost.
In testimony released Friday, Trump’s former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told House investigators about Perry’s role in White House strategy sessions.

“Mr. Perry is one that immediately comes to mind when I remember him physically being there and then backing off,” Hutchinson said, describing how the Pennsylvania Republican clashed with Trump’s White House lawyer over whether the plan to that states present an alternative list of electors. it was legally sound.

On November 21, Meadows also visited Perry to connect with local legislators in her state.

“Can you send me the number of the speaker and the leader of the Pennsylvania Legislature? POTUS wants to talk to them,” Meadows wrote to Perry.

More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows emphasizing the need for urgency as Jan. 6 and Biden’s inauguration were fast approaching.

“Mark, I just checked in as time continues to count down. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to opening. We have to go!” he wrote to Meadows on December 26.

Rep. Scott Perry speaks as Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10, 2021.

On five occasions, according to text messages reviewed by CNN, Perry texted Meadows to request that the conversation be moved to the encrypted messaging app “Signal” or to alert Meadows to a message he sent. on the encrypted platform.

Such a move could put the exchange out of the committee’s reach because Signal does not collect or store user data, making it more difficult to provide that information to outside entities, including law enforcement and congressional investigators, even under subpoena.

The committee previously released a Jan. 5 text message Meadows received from an unidentified member of Congress that read, “Please check your signal.”

CNN has now confirmed that the message came from Perry.

Recruit Department of Justice officials

The texts also show that Perry acted as a conduit between Meadows and Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark, a relatively obscure official who emerged as a central figure in Trump’s election tactics after the former president nearly named him acting attorney general days earlier. of the US Capitol riots.
The messages establish a direct link between Perry, Clark and the Trump-led effort in the White House to enlist the Justice Department to help nullify the election.

Beginning in late December, after top Justice Department officials refused to intervene in the election process on Trump’s behalf, Perry repeatedly pressed Meadows to install Clark in a high-level position in the department and grant the “authority to enforce what must be done”. show the texts.

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“Mark, you should call Jeff. I just got off the phone with him and he explained why the lead officer won’t be working with the FBI especially. They’ll see him as not having the authority to enforce what he should be.” done,” Perry texted Meadows on Dec. 26, days before the heated meeting in the Oval Office where Trump floated the idea of ​​replacing the then acting attorney general with Clark.

“Got it. I think I get it. Let me work deputy,” Meadows replied.

Nearly a week later, Perry texted Meadows again about Clark.

“Please call me as soon as you’re done talking to Jeff,” Perry wrote to Meadows on Jan. 2, referring to Clark.

In January 2021, Perry admitted to being the link between Trump and Clark.

“Over the past four years, I have worked with Assistant Attorney General Clark on various legislative issues. When President Trump asked if I would make a presentation, I agreed,” Perry said in a statement. statement to a local Pennsylvania retailer in January 2021.

Perry’s role in the pressure campaign against Justice Department officials in December 2020 was detailed in a Senate Judiciary report released last year. But the report also acknowledged that his findings were incomplete, listing Perry as one of three Trump allies whose connections to Jan. 6 required further investigation by the House selection panel. The committee has asked Perry to talk to them voluntarily, but Perry has so far refused.

“I have immense respect for our Constitution, the rule of law, and the Americans I represent who know this entity is illegitimate and not properly constituted by the rules of the United States House of Representatives,” Perry wrote in a statement on Twitter rejecting the panel’s request in December.

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic member of the committee investigating the insurrection, told CNN that they have not ruled out issuing subpoenas to lawmakers, including Perry. Lofgren noted that because Perry was sworn to uphold the Constitution as a member of Congress, he is “legally obligated” to speak to the committee.

“We could do a variety of things to try to compel, but the main thing is you have to go in and not try to hide the truth,” Lofgren said. “We need to get to the bottom of this to protect our Constitution and system of government.”


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